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ANC President Contends Corruption Charges Are Politically Motivated


The leader of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) maintains there was political interference in the corruption case against him. Jacob Zuma says Judge Chris Nicholson decision's to throw out the graft charges against him confirms his claim that he is being politically persecuted. Judge Nicholson, however, emphasized that his ruling determined nothing about Zuma's involvement in corruption, only that he had been entitled to give his side of the story to government investigators before the prosecution was revived. But the National Prosecuting Authority has won an appeal to reopen the corruption case against Zuma.

In Washington last week, Jacob Zuma told reporter Peter Clottey that he remained quiet throughout the political misrepresentation.

"This has been said by the judge. How could I disagree with Judge Nicholson of the High Court? How could I?" Zuma asked.

He said he was not concerned about the recent ruling of a South African court to reopen the corruption case against him.

"That is the system in South Africa, the respect of the law. People have got to take action within the framework of the judiciary, and that is accepted. I have been appealing myself. They (National Prosecuting Authority) have been appealing, and I don't think there is anything that is in the ordinary. Once the judge sees the necessity for that to happen, I don't think we have anything to say. The appeal will go," he noted.

Some political analysts believe that although reopening the case could bolster a new party formed by breakaway ANC members loyal to deposed former President Thabo Mbeki, it is unlikely tohamperZuma's political ambitionsas a verdict would probably take months.

Zuma said there is need to encourage South Africans living in the United States to invest in the country's future and fortunes.

"The message is simple, and that is that the South Africans who are here, they must know there is South Africa which needs their capacities and expertise to develop. They must remember that whatever they do in the United States, they must also do something in South Africa. And those who left South Africa because they thought South Africa was not clear or they didn't have hope they must come back. South Africa is a country that needs all South Africans to participate and make it a prosperous country," Zuma pointed out.

He said the bilateral and commercial relationship between the United States and South Africa should be strengthened for the benefit of both countries.

"I think South Africa stands as a country in the continent of Africa that needs very strong cooperation between itself and the United States. We are hoping therefore that the new administration will indeed continue that process. But we are also saying that the investors of the United States, they must increase their investment in South Africa so that they could make South Africa a very strong partner to handle matters globally as well as matters between the two countries," he said.

Zuma said leaders as well as partisans of the ruling African National Countries are required to campaign for the party ahead of next year's general election.

"Every member of the ANC is expected to participate in the elections of the ANC. I did not necessarily pick him (Thabo Mbeki) up as such. I answered a question that was asked, and I was responding to the question that every member of the ANC is expected to participate to make sure that the ANC wins. That is what everybody should be doing. It is as simple as that," Zuma pointed out.

Some political analysts believe that although reopening the case could bolster a new party formed by breakaway ANC members loyal to former President Mbeki, it is unlikely tohamperZuma's political ambitions,as a verdict would probably take months.

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